Preakness Stakes Betting Guide – All You Need to Know

The Preakness Stakes is an American Grade 1 horse race that takes place on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Punters and horse racing fans around the world always look forward to this annual event so that they can take part in some Preakness Stakes betting. 

The race was first held in 1873 and is today run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs of dirt. The race is the second part of the Triple Crown, held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The Preakness Stakes is often called The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, after the state flower of Maryland.

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Popular Bets for The Preakness Stakes

Horse racing and betting for money go hand-in-hand, and were basically made for each other. This is why you will always find a plethora of exciting wagers that can be made on even the most minor of horse races. However, there is nothing minor about the American classic that is the Preakness Stakes.

Winner Betting

A winner bet is a bet placed on the outcome of a race or other such event; in this instance, the Preakness Stakes. For this bet, you simply make your prediction on the horse that you think will win the race, by which we mean coming first. By taking the best odds and backing your prediction up with some real money, you have a chance to make a very tidy profit – but only if your horse is the first past the post.

Each-Way Betting

Each-way bets consist of two parts. The first part of the bet is a wager on your pick to win, exactly as above. The second part of the bet is a place bet where your horse can finish in the designated places. Traditionally, this would mean ¼ of the odds for a horse to finish in the top three in a race with this many runners. These days, for big races such as the Preakness Stakes, online bookmakers will often run promotions on the number of places paid – so keep a lookout for these offers.

Forecast Betting

Forecast bets, sometimes referred to as straight forecasts, are bets where you pick two selections in a race to come 1st and 2nd in the exact order. Forecasts typically apply to horse racing and dog racing, where you select the first two horses (or dogs) home in the correct order. The amount the forecast pays is announced after the race according to the official industry forecast return, and pays to the pound – so it's important to remain patient until this announcement is made.

Tricast Betting

Tricast bets are commonplace in horse racing and work in the same way as forecasts; however, while forecast bets are made on only two horses, tricast bets are extended to three horses. It makes sense that tricast betting asks the bettor to predict which horse will finish in the first place, which will finish in second place and which will finish in third place. Because it is no easy thing to predict the first three horses to come first, second and third in the correct order, tricast bets can result in large returns for a small wager. Again, winnings are paid to the pound according to the official industry forecast return and pay to the pound.

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Race Structure for the Preakness Stakes

The race runs on dirt on the third Saturday in May over a distance of 9.5 furlongs. In terms of weights, colts and geldings carry 126 pounds, while fillies carry 121 pounds. 13 runners usually take part in the Preakness Stakes, with the winner offered the second of the three biggest prizes in US horse racing. In addition, Black-Eyed Susans, the state flower of Maryland, are supposed to be draped over the winning horse as part of the ceremony. Instead, Viking Daisies are styled to look like Black-Eyed Susans and are used to cover the horse – this is because the latter only bloom during the summer, well after the race is over.

History of the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is part of a long heritage of racing in Maryland, predating the Kentucky Derby by two years after first being run at Pimlico Race Course on May 27, 1873. The race gets its name from a colt named Preakness, who was the Dinner Party Stakes winner on the course’s first day of racing and was named by Maryland governor Oden Bowie. In 1890, Morris Park Racecourse in the Bronx, New York hosted the race, after which it wasn’t staged for three years until picking things up again in 1894. It was held again in New York, this time at the Gravesend Race Track on Coney Island, until returning to Pimlico in 1909.

110 years later in 2019, an agreement was put in place with the city of Baltimore to permanently keep the Preakness at Pimlico. Past winners include American Pharoah, who also ended a 37-year weight to win the triple crown in 2015, Big Brown, Smarty Jones, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Secretariat, War Admiral and Rachel Alexandra in 2009, the first filly to win since 1924. In 2020, Swiss Skydiver also made history by becoming the first filly to win since Rachel Alexandra's victory 11 years previously.

Past Winners of the Preakness Stakes

YearWinnerJockey Trainer
2020Swiss SkydiverRobby AlbaradoKenneth McPeek
2019War of WillTyler GaffalioneMark E. Casse
2018JustifyMike SmithBob Baffert
2017Cloud ComputingJavier CastellanoChad Brown
2016ExaggeratorKent DesormeauxJ. Keith Desormeaux
2015American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert
2014California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman
2013OxbowGary StevensD. Wayne Lukas
2012I'll Have AnotherMario GutierrezDoug O'Neill
2011ShacklefordJesus CastanonDale Romans
2010Lookin At LuckyMartin GarciaBob Baffert
2009Rachel AlexandraCalvin BorelSteve Asmussen
2008Big BrownKent DesormeauxRichard Dutrow
2007CurlinRobby AlbaradoSteve Asmussen
2006BernardiniJavier CastellanoTom Albertrani
2005Afleet AlexJeremy RoseTimothy Ritchey
2004Smarty JonesStewart ElliottJohn Servis
2003Funny CideJose SantosBarclay Tagg
2002War EmblemVictor EspinozaBob Baffert
2001Point GivenGary StevensBob Baffert
2000Red BulletJerry BaileyJoe Orseno

Preakness Stakes Key Stats

  • In 2004, Smarty Jones set a record margin of recovery when he won the race by a distance of 11 1/2 lengths.
  • Eddie Arcaro holds the record for the most wins as a jockey here with six.
  • Wyndham Walden and Bob Baffert share the record for most wins by a trainer with seven victories each.
  • In 1973, Secretariat recorded the fastest ever winning time in the Preakness Stakes of 1:53.00.
  • 2020 winner Swiss Skydiver was the first filly to win the race since Rachel Alexandra in 2009, who, back then, had been the first filly to win since 1924.


Upcoming Sporting Events



Why is it Called The Run For The Black-Eyed Susans?

The race takes its name from the national flower of Maryland, the state where Baltimore is located.

What is The Distance For The Preakness Stakes?

The race is run over a distance of nine and a half furlongs, which is one and 3/16th of a mile.

How Much Does The Winner of The Preakness Stakes Receive?

The winner takes home $1.5 million as well as the coveted Woodlawn Vase which was created by Tiffany & Co. back in 1860.

Can I Place a Bet on a Horse Winning The Triple Crown?

Yes, you can but you should know that only 13 horses in history have won the coveted Triple Crown.

Can I Bet on The Preakness Stakes Each Way?

Of course. After all, each way is a classic way to bet on horses.


ThePuntersPage Final Say

Baltimore’s Preakness Stakes is one of American horse racing’s premier races. In fact, it is the Middle Jewel of America’s prestigious Triple Crown and is widely referred to as the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans after the state flower of Maryland. The race runs on the third Saturday in May at Baltimore's Pimlico Racecourse, when horse racing fans the world over stop what they’re doing to watch this elite equine contest and enjoy some Preakness Stakes betting.